F.A.Q


The RRFSO 2005 - Article 9:- Risk Assessment:

Fire safety law and guidance documents for business is available & addresses:

The responsible person must make suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to which relevant persons are exposed for the purpose of identifying the measures they need to take to comply with the requirements and prohibitions imposed on them by the Order.

The nature of the assessment will vary according to the type and use of the premises, the persons who use or may use the premises, and the risks associated with that use.

A fire risk assessment should be reviewed regularly by the responsible person to keep it up to date, valid and to reflect any significant changes that may have taken place.

Fire risk assessments are legal documents and will be used in a court of law...

1. Are you fire risk assessment & fire safety qualified?
2. Are you fire risk assessment & fire safety experienced?
3. Can you interpret the fire safety law and apply it to residential or workplaces?
4. Can you interpret the building regulations and equally apply it?
5. Do you know what other codes and standards are required for your premises?
6. Do you know how many people can legally occupy your premises?
7. Is your fire escape route protected or unprotected?
8. Is the fire safety strategy suitable for your building environment?
9. Are active fire protection systems installed as required by the law?
10. Are passive fire protection systems assessed and addressed?

In-answer, YES & NO - It all depends on your knowledge & the type & size of your premises.

This can be done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Fire Extinguisher Guidance: Purpose Built Blocks Of Flats:

The provision of fire extinguishers and other forms of fire-fighting equipment in common parts for use by residents is problematic. It is not expected that residents should need to tackle a fire in their flats to make their escape.

Indeed, to obtain a fire extinguisher located in the common parts for this purpose would involve the person leaving their flat in the first place.

This does not preclude residents from providing their own fire extinguishers and fire blankets. Indeed, it may be appropriate for landlords, and others responsible for the common parts, to encourage this as part of the process of engaging with, and educating residents on, fire safety.

We recommend that an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment is conducted - In many instances, this can save you money in areas of fire protection equipment that is actually not required.

Please Note: An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment should identify where fire extinguishers are required by law. In-turn, it should also indicate where fire extinguishers can potentially affect life safety.

Alternately; we have clients that want fire extinguishers in the flat communal areas, in-which case, we have provided the necessary guidance for them to remain legal in this application whilst deviating from local authorities guidance.

This is done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services: LACoRS

YES - However, the number and location of these fire extinguishers will depend on several factors. The council will have their own legal requirements for your minimum provisions and a fire risk assessment will identify certain factors.

This is relevant whether your premises require a licence or not.

An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment should guide you appropriately as to the number and location, or indeed, if they are required or, whether practical or not, for the individual/ specific type of HMO to be assessed (not all are the same).

Again, several factors will need to be assessed competently. We recommend you have a fire risk assessment conducted. It can actually save lives & save you money in unnecessary fire protection systems that may, or may not be required.

Please Note: Some local authority inspectors have advised multi-purpose fire extinguishers (dry powder), for the communal areas of an HMO in-writing, to help save money for the HMO applicants licence. This is incorrect/ wrong.

Dry Powder: can cause visibility problems and breathing problems once discharged - especially with asthma sufferers, which can cause an asthma attack.
Basically, dry powder can kill if installed. Dry powder is also not suitable for use indoors due to the above and several more reasons that our suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment may identify/ address suitably for you.

Therefore; it may be that your premises requires a mixture of water & Co2 for each floor of the common areas, as well as covering the kitchen hazards.

In-turn, it may also be unsuitable for this - As we say - An suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment will discuss these reasons why, whilst providing appropriate reasoning & guidance pertaining to each individual HMO premises fire safety.

This is done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Article 8 of the Regulatory Reform (Fire) (Safety) Order 2005 imposes on the responsible person the duty to implement the preventive and protective measures which have been evaluated in the risk assessment.

By virtue of this article, the responsible person is under a duty to ensure that general fire precautions are in place to ensure the safety of any of his or her employees or, of any relevant persons who are not his or her employees.

Fire risk assessments are required to be reviewed annually by law at a minimum.
Fire risk assessments are also required to be reviewed when:

1. Any material alteration has taken place to the building
2. Any significant changes in operations to the business are implemented
3. Any change of use or occupation to the building
4. Any change of directors or fire safety management to the building
5. Any intervals required by law and other codes of practice

The above list is not exhaustive and an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment should guide your workplace or, residential premises in the required frequencies.

This is done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Dear All,

We understand the need for FAQ's - Questions & Answers:

We do advise, that we are a fire safety consultancy service that can only answer the majority of technical questions as an employed fire safety consultant, fire safety strategy assessor, building control assessor, fire risk assessor or, fire warden trainer or, fire extinguisher technician from clients/ companies directly & as paying clients. Your basic questions are likely answered within our websites.

We have however, provided exceptional FREE guidance within our FAQ's.

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure our answers are both legal & up to date, we cannot accept responsibility for any changes in law or, updates that you have not addressed through an suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment, fire safety strategy or, fire safety management plan.

Please Note: There are some questions we will not answer online/ over the phone? Why?
Answering could be illegal & technically & professionally immoral:-
This is to protect our clients & any new enquiries, whilst ensuring the highest standards.

Any answers required legally should be sought through an suitable and sufficient Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report - MG Fire Safety Group can provide these reports.

Q. Clarification of other companies questions or, our fire safety strategy answers.
A. We CAN liaise with other companies, to enable your Fire Safety Strategy Plan.

Q. Answering technical questions on the phone or, via email.
A. Paying Clients - CAN DO, following a booked Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Plan.

Legal Guidance & Professional Fire Safety Consultants:-

This can be done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Building Regulations - EWS-1 Form

These forms are being requested by many estate agents, solicitors & banks.

They are also asking for an Fire Risk Assessment to address & sign the EWS-1 form.

Please Note:
An fire risk assessment will not be suitable or sufficient for an EWS-1 form.
Cladding inspections will require much further inspections & engineered guidance.

That is to say: Cladding inspections shall comply to relevant standards such as:

1. BS 8414-1: 2020 &
2. BS 8414-2: 2020
3. ADBv1 + ADBv2: Fire Safety 2019

PLEASE BE ADVISED:

It is expected your building control engineer and project manager should be able to provide all the information required by-law, to sign the EWS-1 as requested.

If not, it is expected your site may not be, compliant to the LAW..?

This can be done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
Can I use an ALL class liquid or powder based fire extinguisher to cover ALL fire hazards within my workplace? This is an popular question asked by many due to some 35 kV ratings applied.

The most prominent being - Can I use a water fire extinguisher on my electrical equipment that claims to put-out all classes of fire (as it has an 35 kV fire rating)?

In-short, NO you can't..!

Whilst the extinguisher products, if suitably tested 'can do' what they say on the tin, there are many H&S implications that are not clearly identified by many professionals & can lead to further life safety risks if not identified or, fire risk assessed suitably.

Firstly, what does 35 kV mean?

When testing fire extinguishers for suitability, they are given classes and fire ratings to denote the type of fire they are capable of extinguishing & the size of test fire they can actually extinguish, if used in the hands of a trained person.

For example: An 6 litre foam fire extinguisher can extinguish a type (class B fire involving flammable liquids such as petrol, oil, adhesives & spirits etc) and can extinguish the class B fire to the size of 113 B - This means the foam fire extinguisher has extinguished a test fire of 113 litres of flammable liquid materials to the required British Standard test requirements, thus, the extinguisher earns an impressive '113 B - Fire Rating Classification'.

However, an approved fire extinguisher carrying the 35 kV test for electrical fires has a few more stipulations in its use, such as - the test is conducted via an extinguisher sited 1 meter away from the steel electrical plate to ascertain if an lethal charge of electricity runs back through the extinguisher.

Note: if the electric charge is 'below the required amount' then the extinguisher is given 35 kV status.

This basically translates:

The 35 kV tested fire extinguisher is only certified safe so long as - if used directly onto an electrical appliance of less than 35 kV & the user stands 1m away from the appliance on fire, then you should not be electrocuted? This occurs via de-ionised water - However, there is no evidence the water or other solution cannot become ionised when in contact with ANY other combustible materials.

In real life - fire extinguisher USER fire safety terms, translate:

An extinguisher with an 'added 35 kV rating', is best used for the class of fire it was intended for; Such as an water fire extinguisher with an class A fire rating is intended for (flammable solids like paper, wood & plastics etc).
However, it may also carry an added 35 kV rating - So the benefits of the 35 kV fire rating would only be beneficial -

"if whilst tackling an class A fire, the fire extinguishing medium (water), is inadvertently applied to or, passed over an electrical appliance by the user, (computer, socket, battery charger etc) that is less than 35,000 volts -
Then the user would be safe from electrocution in that specific environment & application of trained use of the operator provided accidental application over electrical appliances or, albeit 1m away and any other safety data sheet requirements for each individual product for 35 kV suitability was adhered to strictly".

Pros:

1. May be suitable for complex premises such as large fuel depots
2. May be suitable for many households & standard private kitchens in homes
3. Ideal for the fire & rescue service for quick reaction & trained operational use

Cons:

1. Staff training can become convoluted for many extinguishers in workplaces
2. Fire risk assessments will have to verify if suitable for each premises
3. Extinguisher use, damage, parts & replacement costs will increase
4. If fire extinguisher is used incorrectly, electrocution of staff occurs
5. Workplace insurance lawsuit against company for staff injury/ loss of life

One point missed by many professionals in the application & use of the 35 kV status is that - the fire extinguisher user/ operative MUST BE trained & the unit/ extinguisher MUST BE used at the 1m discharge/ use position - Otherwise, the user is (at risk) from ELECTROCUTION - not the equipment technician, supplier or distributor, but the users life is at risk..!

An suitable & sufficient fire risk assessment should guide your workplace or, residential premises in the extinguishers required and deemed safe for use in the environment in-which they are to be used.

MG Fire Safety Group have advised many on the above, we choose to provide this information online to educate more and promote life safety over sales.

This is done through - MG Fire Safety Group - Fire Risk Assessment or, Fire Safety Strategy Report and Local Council Authority, Building Control & Local Authority Fire & Rescue Services.
PU Foam - We often see on our fire risk assessment inspections, PU foam, filling all and sundry holes/ gaps/ and also providing seals for wood or plasterboard fixtures, as well as plastic pipe fixtures, amongst many other illegal attempts at fire stopping.

It is understood knowledge is lacking in many areas of passive fire protection, this is why we are providing FREE guidance here to encourage ALL with an interest to learn more and ensure when you pay money, you get exactly what you are paying for - that is - property protection & life safety.

Other than what we report in our fire risk assessment findings, we often get asked separately by many - can we use fire rated foam to fill the gaps or holes located in walls, corridors or through service pipe penetrations or, on cable trays separating rooms?

First of all - what is PU foam?
PU stands for Polyurethane and the foam itself comes sold as an 4 hour fire rated product. It is usually discharged with a pink colour to identify the fact it is a fire rated foam product. Some colours vary, such as Blue 60, for fire door architraves.

So, the PU fire rated foam - Is it fire rated?

YES, however, you MUST realise the use in-which the foam is to be installed.
For example, to achieve the 4 hour fire rating, the foam would need to be applied within dimensions not exceeding 10 mm width x 50 mm depth.

To confirm this, you would need to provide an fire strategy identifying the width and depth by both written evidence & pictorial evidence, prior to application.

By doing this, you would confirm for fire risk assessment, local authority fire safety inspecting officers, local authority building control officers & your insurers, that the fire rating claimed, is indeed that to which you have confirmed legally in both writing & pictorial evidence. Thus ensuring, any legal implications can be managed suitably.

It pays to be diligent!

So, if you applied the same product to an area of 50 mm width x 10 mm depth, the fire rating would be reduced dramatically by an massive 3 hours 49 minutes drop time - Thus only achieving 11 minutes of fire resistance. Not the 4 hours stipulated on the tin..!

Therefore, the 4 hour fire rating only applies in the most exceptional circumstance, where dimensions for its use are met and measured accurately.
Thus, it is very likely, most PU foam fire rating seals provided throughout the UK, will not be achieving the desired or expected fire rating that is required.
Furthermore, fire rated foam alone, is almost always not suitable.

In-short:

10 mm width x 50 mm depth = Application = 280 minutes fire rating.
50 mm width x 10 mm depth = Application = 11 minutes fire rating.

Installation techniques can have an major effect on the fire resistance of PU fire rated foam - In subsequent tests, the PU foam 'time to failure' in cable tray applications was in 9 mins & 7 mins, under laboratory test conditions. Not the 4 hours claimed by the installation engineers..!

Remember this?

Don't just let anyone conduct your fire stopping or passive fire protection installations. Check they know what they are doing. Check they are qualified passive fire protection installers & finally, check they have third party accreditation for passive fire protection products & installations, as this is the fabric of your building and if the job is not done correctly, it could well cost you your property, your business, your livelihood and worst case scenario - a LIFE..!

We conduct fire risk assessments on commercial and residential properties throughout Reading, Berkshire, for private landlords, commercial landlords/ letting agents, estate agents & all commercial businesses. We are helping many to identify failings in passive fire protection and remedy areas that could have cost a fortune or, a LIFE.

The key is to identify, then you can manage the risks suitably as your budget dictates (as per), your fire safety management policy & procedures may indicate or, an suitable Fire Safety Strategy.

Any questions? Call - 0800 999 8595.
Email: info@mgfiresafetygroup.co.uk